n Gender Questions - Queering gender identity work : a life history of a black transgender woman

Volume 5 Number 1
  • ISSN : 2309-9704



This article offers an analysis of the identity work of a black transgender woman through life history research. Identity work pertains to the ongoing effort of authoring oneself and positions the individual as the agent; not a passive recipient of identity scripts. The findings draw from three life history interviews. Using thematic analysis, the following themes emerge: institutionalisation of gender norms; gender and sexuality unintelligibility; transitioning and passing; and lastly, gender expression and public spaces. The discussion follows from a poststructuralist conception of identity, which frames identity as fluid and as being continually established. The study contends that identity work is a complex and fragmented process, which is shaped by other social identities. To that end, the study also acknowledges the role of collective agency in shaping gender identity.

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